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Recent news from The Johns Hopkins University

This section contains regularly updated highlights of the news from around The Johns Hopkins University. Links to the complete news reports from the nine schools, the Applied Physics Laboratory and other centers and institutes are to the left, as are links to help news media contact the Johns Hopkins communications offices.

 

When the Flu Bug Bites the Big Apple, Twitter Posts Can Tell the Tale

In recent years, Johns Hopkins researchers have shown that tweets can help trace nationwide trends in flu outbreaks. Now, in a new study, a team from Johns Hopkins and George Washington universities has drilled even deeper, probing flu-related tweets from a single bustling metropolis: New York City. Twitter data, the team concluded, can accurately gauge the spread of flu at the local level, too.

Johns Hopkins Senior Anna Wherry Wins Marshall Scholarship

The 21-year-old, who is double majoring in public health in public health and anthropology, is one of 34 students chosen from the United States for the scholarship. She will enroll in Oxford University’s refugee and forced migration studies program and also pursue a masters in social anthropology from the University of Edinburgh.

Johns Hopkins Project Aims to help Mid-Atlantic combat Hurricanes, Heat Waves

The National Science Foundation has awarded Seth Guikema, a Johns Hopkins University assistant professor of geography and environmental engineering, a $3 million grant to build a program that will determine the effect of repeated hurricanes and heat waves on the Mid-Atlantic region and suggest ways to improve the region’s ability to withstand them.

Offering Economic Incentives to Attract Blood Donations Should Be Encouraged, Researchers Write in Science

Three researchers including Carey Business School Assistant Professor Mario Macis say economic incentives can motivate members of the public to increase their donations of much-needed blood, the economists write in the May 24, 2013, issue of Science.

Undergrads Adapt Video Game Unit to Help Save Kids Trapped In Overheated Cars

It’s a parent’s worst nightmare: a young child is accidentally left in a locked car on a warm and sunny day. The closed windows turn the car into a greenhouse, and the child dies of heatstroke. In a key first step toward preventing such tragedies, three undergraduate engineering students at Johns Hopkins have turned technology from a popular video game player into a detector for children left behind in dangerously overheated vehicles.

Diagnosis: ‘Irrationality in Health Care’

The debate over American health care didn’t end with the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Now that the law is in place and its provisions are slowly becoming reality, the discussion has shifted to questions regarding whether the benefits are worth the costs, and whether we will actually be a healthier nation once every citizen has health insurance. Johns Hopkins University health economist Douglas E. Hough hopes his new book, which looks at the state of American health care through the lens of behavioral economics, will be helpful in framing this new wave of discourse in a more productive way.

Johns Hopkins University and Waverly Elementary/Middle School to Host Health Fair

The Johns Hopkins University and Waverly Elementary/Middle School have partnered to teach young students about the benefits of healthy eating and regular exercise through a program called Food as Medicine. A special program event, the Safari of Health Fair, will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, April 26 at the school on 701 E. 34th St. Baltimore, MD 21218.

MEDIA ADVISORY: Horse meat scandal in Europe

Two professors at The Johns Hopkins University are available to discuss the horse meat incident. They say a culinary taboo is a distraction from the real issue: inadequate food inspection regulations.

Using Twitter to Track the Flu: Researchers Find a Better Way to Screen the Tweets

Sifting through social media messages has become a popular way to track when and where flu cases occur, but a key hurdle hampers the process: how to identify flu-infection tweets. Some tweets are posted by people who have been sick with the virus, while others come from folks who are merely talking about the illness. If you are tracking actual flu cases, such conversations about the flu in general can skew the results. To address this problem, Johns Hopkins computer scientists and researchers in the School of Medicine have developed a new tweet-screening method that not only delivers real-time data on flu cases, but also filters out online chatter that is not linked to actual flu infections.

Gun Policy Summit Recommendations

A summit of more than 20 of the world’s leading gun policy experts has identified research-based policies to reduce gun violence in the United States. The policy recommendations were the result of a two-day Summit on gun violence convened by The Johns Hopkins University on January 14 and 15, The Summit on Reducing Gun Violence in America: Informing Policy with Evidence and Analysis.

MEDIA ADVISORY: Gun Policy Summit Webcast Today

The Johns Hopkins-sponsored Summit on Reducing Gun Violence in America convenes today [Monday, Jan. 14] and is available by webcast today and tomorrow for reporters wishing to cover it remotely.

Exposure to Light at Night May Cause Depression, Learning Issues, JHU Biologist Says

For most of history, humans rose with the sun and slept when it set. Enter Thomas Edison, and with a flick of a switch, night became day, enabling us to work, play and post cat and kid photos on Facebook into the wee hours. However, according to a new study led by Johns Hopkins biologist Samer Hattar, this typical 21st- century scenario comes at a serious cost: When people routinely burn the midnight oil, they risk suffering depression and learning issues, and not only because of lack of sleep. The culprit could also be exposure to bright light at night from lamps, computers and even iPads.

Media Advisory: JHU Oceanographer available to discuss shrinking Arctic sea ice

The National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado has reported that there is less ice in the Arctic Ocean this summer than at any time since satellite measurements were first taken back in 1979, a finding that underscores the reality of global climate change. Johns Hopkins oceanographer Thomas Haine, who studies how the physics of ocean currents affects global climate, is available to put these findings into perspective.

Could FastStitch Device, Invented by Undergrads, Be the Future of Suture?

After a surgeon stitches up a patient’s abdomen, costly complications—some life-threatening—can occur. To cut down on these postoperative problems, Johns Hopkins undergraduates have invented a disposable suturing tool to guide the placement of stitches and guard against the accidental puncture of internal organs.

Undergraduates’ Cellphone Screening Device for Anemia Wins $250,000 Prize

Could a low-cost screening device connected to a cellphone save thousands of women and children from anemia-related deaths and disabilities? That’s the goal of Johns Hopkins biomedical engineering undergraduates who say they’ve developed a noninvasive way to identify women with this dangerous blood disorder in developing nations.

MEDIA ADVISORY – Breaking Ground: Malone Hall to House New Research Institutes at Johns Hopkins

On Wednesday, May 23, the university’s Whiting School of Engineering will break ground for Malone Hall, a state-of-the-art, 69,000-square-foot research center named in honor of John C. Malone, a pioneer in the communications and media industries.

Mercury in Dolphins: Study Compares Toxin Levels in Captive and Wild Sea Mammals

Amid growing concerns about the spread of harmful mercury in plants and animals, a new study by researchers from The Johns Hopkins University and The National Aquarium has compared levels of the chemical in captive dolphins with dolphins found in the wild. The captive animals were fed a controlled diet, while the wild mammals dined on marine life that may carry more of the toxic metal.

Reducing Brain Activity Improves Memory After Cognitive Decline, Johns Hopkins Team Finds

A study led by Michela Gallagher of The Johns Hopkins University and published in the May 10 issue of the journal Neuron suggests a potential new therapeutic approach for improving memory and interrupting disease progression in patients with a form of cognitive impairment that often leads to full-blown Alzheimer’s disease.

Johns Hopkins Carey Business School Shifts Focus to Business of Healthcare

The Johns Hopkins Carey Business School has reorganized to focus its degree programs on the study of business issues related to healthcare and the life sciences, Interim Dean Phillip Phan has announced. “We’re making this move not just because we are Johns Hopkins, with the best medical institutions in the world, but also because health care is an increasingly important part of the economic discussion in the United States,” said Phan.

MEDIA ADVISORY: Student Teams to Compete for Johns Hopkins Business Plan Prize Money on April 27

The Johns Hopkins University Business Plan Competition, hosted by the Center for Leadership Education, provides an opportunity for students to take a novel idea or innovative technology and develop a business plan based around it. The competition will take place on Friday, April 27, in Hodson Hall on the Homewood campus.

Johns Hopkins First in R&D Expenditures for 32nd Year

The Johns Hopkins University performed $2 billion in medical, science and engineering research in fiscal 2010, making it the leading U.S. academic institution in total research and development spending for the 32nd year in a row, according to a new National Science Foundation ranking. The university also once again ranked first on the NSF’s separate list of federally funded research and development, spending $1.73 billion in FY2010 on research supported by NSF, NASA, the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense.

“Test and Treat” Model Offers New Strategy for Eliminating Malaria

As researchers work to eliminate malaria worldwide, new strategies are needed to find and treat individuals who have malaria, but show no signs of the disease. The prevalence of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic malaria can be as high as 35 percent in populations with malaria and these asymptomatic individuals can serve as a reservoir for spreading malaria even in areas where disease transmission has declined.

Workshop addressing gaps in policy and research for non-communicable diseases

The United Nations recently placed the crisis of non-communicable diseases in low- and middle-income countries at the top of its agenda for global health and development. In an effort to develop a program for meeting this challenge, the Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health and the Study of Business Enterprise (IHEGHSBE) at the Johns Hopkins University and the Global Health Council (GHC) will convene a workshop on Thursday, Feb. 9, bringing together leading experts in a range of disciplines to address gaps in related policy and research.

Media advisory: Johns Hopkins business professor available as news source on health care industry

Johns Hopkins Carey Business School Associate Professor Douglas Hough is available to speak to journalists as an expert on the economics of health care, including behavioral economics within the health care industry.

JHU Rethinks University-Level Science Teaching

On Friday, Jan. 20, The Johns Hopkins University will hold a daylong meeting of nearly 300 faculty members, academic leaders, staff members and outside experts to consider innovative, more effective alternatives to traditional large lecture/lab introductory science classes for undergraduates, graduate students and professional students.

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